Joaquim Rodriguez spent the first half of the 2012 Giro d'Italia staying quiet and staying out of trouble, slowly climbing the standings. That went out the window in stage 10, as the Katusha rider was at the front on the final climb and motored away to take the stage victory and the Maglia Rosa. The stage finished in the narrow streets of the town of Assisi, with a 3.9km climb with an average grade of 8.8% and a maximum grade of 15%. Most of the contenders were towards the front of the peloton at the start of the climb, but once the climb started the field had narrowed. Leader Ryder Hesjedal was suffering, unable to keep up with the pace set by Rodriguez, Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp), and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar). Rodriguez made his move in the final kilometer and easily outpaced Huzarski and Visconti for the win. He only gained a few seconds on Hesjedal, but with the winner of the stage gaining a ten second time bonus, he was able to move into first in the overall standings.
There was a breakaway on the day, and they managed to stay away a long time. Jumping off about 15km into the race, they weren't caught with less than 10km left in the 187km stage. A crash less than 40km into the race took out some riders, but all of the GC contenders managed to avoid the pileup. Team BMC was shut out of yesterday's sprint finish by yesterday's crash, and in stage 10 their primary GC contender Marco Pinotti was unable to make up any time on the leaders. Wednesday's stage is another flat one, so George Hincapie and Greg Van Avermaet will have another chance at what they missed on Monday.
The updated GC standings after stage 10:
1) Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha Team 40:27:34
2) Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:17
3) Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:32
4) Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:00:52
5) Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:52
6) Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:57
7) Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:02
8) Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:01:03
SB Nation Bay Area will continue to bring you recaps, previews and more from the 2012 Giro d'Italia. As always, SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe has all your news and analysis needs covered.